My journey of becoming an eco-friendly mum

Eco-friendly life hacks for working mums

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I maybe a bit late to the “eco-friendly” and “zero waste” parties, but what counts is that I have arrived.  Like thousands of people, we got to grips with our different coloured recycling bins and started composting a few years ago. We decided to have some rescue hens last year and they eat a lot of our food waste and we have the bonus of fresh free range eggs too. 

My daughter is fourteen and part of a school Eco lunchtime club; she has raised my awareness as to how much young people are concerned about our planet. The amount of plastic boxes that housed supermarket fruit and veg started to take over the kitchen, the job of stacking it all became a real pain and it was only then it started to dawn on me what a ridiculous situation it was.

Reducing plastic packaging

Where possible I will buy our fruit and veg from the local market, farm shops or have now and again used a local online delivery service which bring your products to you in one huge box which they will take back to re-use.  There is a local fruit and veg man, but I always seem to miss him. My daughter and I use re-useable water bottles and hot drink cups, we have bamboo lunch boxes and are experimenting with wax wraps rather than cling film.

Made in the UK

After being featured in Psychologies magazine, Peace with the wild are a UK based company that source and provide handmade, vegan, cruelty free eco-friendly products, most of their products are made in the UK. We use their soap, shampoo and conditioner solid bars which are plastic, SLS and chemical free.  We use fluoride free toothpaste in a jar, their hot cloth cleanser again in a jar which removes water-proof make up so there is no need for cotton wool pads and we love their face cloths.

Laundry

I started replacing harsh detergents with Indian soap nuts a few months ago, I ordered 1KG and wasn’t really sure what to expect but I am so pleased I did. They are a really easy, affordable, natural and a hypoallergenic approach to laundry.  A handful of soap nuts are placed into a small muslin bag along with your laundry. I am amazed at how they clean our clothes, the same soap nuts can be used 3-4 times and then are composted and I add a few drops of essential oils to the laundry before it goes in to give that fresh smell we are so used to.  

Sanitary protection

My most recent experiment is with re-useable sanitary towels as it really concerned me how much waste panty liners and sanitary pads generate. I am pleased to say that the experiment has been successful and I would recommend trying them.  They can range in price, I bought six for £8.00 online but realised that sizing is important, even though they have a press stud to secure them, they can move depending on what you are wearing/doing. Overall, once I had figured the right size to buy I am converted; they wash well and are cost effective in the long run.

Moving forward

As a busy working mum, I am learning all the time about new ideas to continue my eco-friendly journey but what I have learnt is that it isn’t too difficult, we are making a small difference to the planet and I have my kitchen back from the plastic box monster!

 

Love and light

Gail

www.gaildonnan.com

 

Gail Donnan

Author, Researcher & Mental Health Practitioner, Mindfulspace Wellbeing Company

I have been working in the wellness industry since 1995. In this time I have trained as teacher, a Western Cognitive counsellor, Trauma-informed and holistic therapist, Mindfulness Practitioner, Meditation Teacher, Bach Flower Essence Practitioner, Qi Gong Instructor, Reiki Master Teacher Practitioner and Coach. I am currently studying towards a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Psychology at Leeds Beckett University. I specialise in mental health issues, anxiety, depression and inspiring others to make life and career changes towards the well-being industry. I am the published author of two books -"The Gateway - A journey to re-claim your power from Stress and Anxiety" and The Gateway Junior Edition - children's mental health. My meditations appear on Inspire Radio and I am the founder of The Trauma Centre in North Yorkshire.